Dalai Lama’s Secret Tantric Murals unveiled for Exhibition
Lukhang temple is the Buddhist Sistine Chapel, full of stunning murals of body-hopping yogis and the vagina that gave birth to the world. It’s meant for the Dalai Lama’s eyes only – so how did a US photographer manage to share its secrets?
In the spring of 1986, Thomas Laird stood before the secret tantric paintings in the Lukhang temple of Lhasa, Tibet. The American photographer was one of the first westerners ever to enter, and the first to shoot inside this secret space created by the fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century – and reserved for the private meditation of his successors.
“I was stunned by the colours: pink and gold and white and lapis,” he says of the murals that cover its walls. There were yogis demonstrating poses, 84 tantric masters, Buddhas, waterfalls, forests, animals and a vast number of symbols he couldn’t quite fathom. He was dazzled: “That afternoon had a huge impact on me.”
see full article @ The Guardian
see exhibition details here @ Wellcome Collection